Ever since I was taken to see my first Broadway show at the age of seven, I wanted to be a scenic designer, the person who created those pretty stage backgrounds.
In later years, I was an apprentice for several seasons in summer stock in order to learn my craft. And, finally, years later, I got into Yale Drama School, the country’s most prestigious theater school at the time.
It was a three-year Master’s degree program. I was kicked out after the first year. I was basically told I had no talent. I was devastated. I called my mother in tears. Her advice was that “everything turns out for the best.”
It wasn’t very comforting at the time, but she was right, everything did turn out well. In fact, better than I could have expected at the time.
I went on to get in the scenic design union and became a designer at CBS-television where I was a designer for such national shows as Captain Kangaroo, Merv Griffin, and Captain Kangaroo.
Mom was right, after all. Everything did turn out for the best. It’s advice that helped me not only get through the Yale experience but many other trying times in my life as well.
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